Music fans often point to Spotify success as evidence that their favorite artist has truly made it by supposedly climbing the Everest of mainstream relevance. And independent music artists all know they have to choose a distribution partner that can get their music onto platforms like Spotify and Apple Music – the Holy Grail of music streaming. However, to the musicians themselves, that Holy Grail is revealed to be more of a poison-filled chalice. Spotify pays its artists mere fractions of pennies per stream. This paltry revenue is further diminished by dividing the profits among all members of the music team, such as producers, labels, songwriters, and the like. Curiously, musicians are seemingly punished for having global appeal, with streams from listeners in certain countries paying substantially less than streams originating from the US, for example. Tim Ostrowsky-Thomas, Morning Crush frontman, has conflicted thoughts about his duplicitous mistress. The ruthless capitalist pursuit of the bottom line is a necessary evil when you consider the democratization of music and substantial expansion of fanbase that Spotify provides. “I’m not one of these artists who wants to tear down Spotify because of how badly it pays me,” Tim says. “I’m of two minds about everything, because Spotify has allowed me to reach more people. That’s just a fact. I have more listeners because of Spotify, more people come to our gigs, more people buy merch and these people sign up to our Patreon. So, in that aspect it’s really, really good. But I can’t help feeling that there is the money to pay artists more per stream, which would be a huge help. It’s a really nuanced discussion, the whole thing. I don’t like how disposable it makes music, but I do like how accessible it makes it.” Morning Crush is attempting to cushion the streaming profit vortex by offering their new EP, Tidal Wave, for download on bandcamp a week ahead of its general release on June 23rd. “I think it’s a healthy middle ground. People who want to can pay to download it a week earlier than everyone else. That’s the incentive. They can also get the CD and Vinyl before it’s on Spotify. I’m happy about doing it this way.”
Tidal Wave chronicles an earnest exploration of a troubled soul, navigating life’s tribulations and the recent turmoil of our times with a refreshing self-awareness and a dogged devotion to optimism. “Let It Rain” details acceptance of a dark frame of mind and advises a gentle surrender to the storm clouds of the present moment. Perhaps tomorrow will be sunnier. “Footprints” is a joyfully self-effacing ode to the delight of irrelevance. There’s a certain joie de vivre in carefree company that no amount of accomplishments and accolades could ever replace. “Manhattan” embraces the multitude of possibilities inherent in an unknown future, whirling the listener around in an exuberant folk rock romp. “Two Ghosts” turns vulnerable and introspective, a poignant and pining love letter to a late friend. Grief is the loudest in the echoes of solitude. Finally, “Another Perfect Day” captures the uneasiness of daily commitment to a life that feels disconnected and overwhelming, treading the line between disillusionment and gratitude. Morning Crush imparts empathy and hope in our most fractured or confusing moments. Our favorite artists give us a hand to hold so that we never have to walk alone. Download Tidal Wave HERE.